Half a million Rohingya children are stateless refugees in the Cox’s Bazar area in southern Bangladesh, increasingly anxious about their futures, and vulnerable to frustration and despair.
The massive humanitarian effort led by the Government of Bangladesh with international support has saved countless children’s lives. There is no viable solution in sight for these Rohingya children who live in the world’s largest and most congested refugee settlement. The vast majority were forced to flee for their lives from Myanmar into Bangladesh in August 2017.
In Myanmar, the majority have no legal identity or citizenship. In Bangladesh, children are not being registered at birth, they lack a legal identity, and they lack a refugee status. Until conditions in Myanmar lead to those eligible returning home, Rohingya children remain a status-less minority. This excludes these children from learning a formal education curriculum and they are desperately in need of marketable skills.
“The obligation we have as a global society is immense: to give children and young people the world has defined as ‘stateless’, the education and skills they need to build decent lives for themselves,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, following a two-day mission to Cox’s Bazar on 25-26 February with the United Nations Secretary General’s Humanitarian Envoy, Ahmed Al Meraikhi.